Medjugorje’s current Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar opposed the claims of apparitions from the onset, by warning the Bishop he would later succeed, author Wayne Weible writes in his new book. Source confirms then-Fr. Peric was among 12 priests who put pressure upon Bishop Pavao Zanic.

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Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar

Already from the Summer of 1981, by a time when the exact circumstances around the apparitions in Medjugorje were not known by anyone, did Medjugorje’s current Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar actively oppose them, author Wayne Weible states in his new book, “Medjugorje, the Last Apparition”.

Bishop Pavao Zanic, local Ordinary of Medjugorje in 1981, initially believed in the apparitions but it has long been known it did not take long until Bishop Zanic was put under pressure to disown them, from the ruling Communists as well as from parts of his own clergy.

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Wayne Weible

Wayne Weible now states that then-Fr. Ratko Peric was a part of the clerical pressure against the Bishop he would later succeed:

“Father Ratko Peric was widely recognized within the diocese as the protégé and eventual successor to Bishop Zanic. He was extremely upset with the bishop’s early belief and active support of the apparitions. I learned from a reliable source close to the situation that Father Peric aggressively warned Bishop Zanic not to get involved with “this business of claimed apparitions” and the Franciscans who were, in his estimation, “behind it all” Wayne Weible writes.


Pavao Zanic, Bishop of Mostar 1980-93

A source with insight into the events of the first Summer of the apparitions further confirms to Medjugorje Today that then-Fr. Ratko Peric, by the time a professor at Gregorian University in Rome, was a part of a long-known group of 12 priests that arrived from Rome to pressure Bishop Zanic.

In his new book, Wayne Weible also mentions the arrival of this group:

bishop ratko peric medjugorje mostar

Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar

“Adding to the bishop’s fear, several days later, a hastily assembled anti-Medjugorje group of 12 priests, which included two Franciscans, came from Rome to meet with the bishop. They threatened him that if he continued his support of the apparitions, they would “chase him out of the diocese”.  Now he was facing pressure from the government and from this group of priests from Rome to denounce the apparitions, even though they did not have formal authority” Weible writes.

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Fr. Jozo Zovko with five of the Medjugorje seers, June 1981

“Once again, Bishop Zanic called (Medjugorje parish priest) Father Jozo to his residence in Mostar. How, he asked the priest, could he not comply with the demands of the 12 priests? “I cannot go back to being a village chaplain, can I?” he said. “In your opinion, can I, a bishop, become a country curate (priest)?”

Bishop Pavao Zanic soon turned against the apparitions whose authenticity was firmly denied by two commissions appointed by him. When Bishop Zanic passed on the report from the second of these two commissions, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reacted by removing the case dossier of Medjugorje from the Bishop, to place it with the Yugoslav Bishops in unison.

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Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

Ratko Peric took over as Bishop of Mostar in 1993. Five years later, he told the leader of the National Medjugorje Council of Ireland that he does not believe in any apparition, including the ones that have been recognized by the Catholic Church, retired Major-General Liam Prendergast has testified from his meeting with the Bishop.

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